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Pac-12 teams dominate preseason March Madness brackets

Sep 30, 2021

The Pac-12 Conference had a historic run through March Madness in 2021, sending a total of 11 teams to the NCAA tournaments, including three teams that made the Final Fours.

Six Pac-12 women’s teams made it to the 2021 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, culminating in No. 1 Stanford’s thrilling 54-53 win over No. 3 Arizona in the championship game. 

On the men’s side, five Pac-12 teams qualified for the tournament with a conference-record-tying four teams making it to the Sweet Sixteen round (No. 11 UCLA, No. 6 USC, No. 7 Oregon, No. 12 Oregon State). 

If early expert analysis is any indication, the Pac-12 should expect similarly impressive representation in 2022. 

Three major men’s tournament bracketologists - ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, CBS’s Jerry Palm, and March Madness’ Andy Katz - have made their preliminary brackets public. All three believe UCLA will follow-up last year’s run to the Final Four with a No. 1 seed this year. They are also all in agreement that USC will be a No. 7 seed and that Oregon will be a top-5 seed. Lunardi and Katz see Colorado as a No. 11 while Palm believes Oregon State and Washington State will also earn invitations to the Big Dance. 

If the Cougars make the tournament, it will be their first appearance since they made the Sweet Sixteen in 2008. That run inspired future NBA star Klay Thompson to commit to Pullman.

Only one major women’s tournament bracketologist, ESPN’s Charlie Creme, has made his initial bracket public. Creme sees the Pac-12 sending at least six teams, and as many as eight, to the tournament this Spring. 

Creme believes that Stanford will follow-up its 2021 championship with another No. 1 seed. Starters Haley Jones, Cameron Brink, Lexie Hull and Anna Wilson will all return to the Cardinal this year as they try to become the first team since Connecticut in 2013-2016 to repeat as champions. 

Creme also believes Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Colorado and 2021 runner-ups Arizona will all make the tournament. He lists USC and Arizona State in his First Four teams out. 

The Pac-12 basketball seasons will begin in late October but fans get their first chance to see their favorite stars at the Pac-12 Basketball Media Days which will take place on October 12th (Women’s) and 13th (Men’s) in San Francisco with coverage across Pac-12 Networks, and Pac-12 social media. 

Men's Preseason Brackets

Team ESPN's Joe Lunardi March Madness' Andy Katz CBS's Jerry Palm
UCLA 1 1 1
Oregon 3 5 3
USC 7 7 7
Oregon State Unlisted Unlisted 9
Colorado 11 11 Unlisted
Washington State First Four Out First Four Out 10
Arizona First Four Out Unlisted First Four Out

Women's Preseason Bracket (ESPN's Charlie Creme)

Team Seed
Stanford 1
Oregon 3
Oregon State 4
Arizona 8
Colorado 10
USC First Four Out
Arizona State Next Four Out